The history of migration and understanding why people move 

Consider the long-running history of migration and learn the reasons why people move. Develop empathy with those who have had to build new lives elsewhere.

7 - 14
Lesson plan
PSHE, History, Citizenship, Geography, SMSC
Refugees and migration

Learning objectives

Learners will:

  • Increase their empathy and understanding of the reasons why people migrate
  • Consider some of the ways in which refugees build their resilience and cope with the challenges of forced migration
  • Feel comfortable expressing and discussing their thoughts and ideas
  • Discuss ways in which they can welcome and show kindness towards refugees.

Resource overview

1. You, me and all that we are
Learners consider the theme, what makes them who they are, and how they can support each other to share ideas. 

2. Different stories, shared humanity
Exploring the idea of movement and forced migration, learners will gain understanding of push and pull factors for moving and develop empathy with those who have had to leave their homes. 

3. Dreams without borders
Learners watch the film 'Dreams’ and consider how it might feel to have barriers stopping you from pursuing your dreams. 

4. Connecting across the ages
A quick quiz will introduce learners to some surprising facts about migration, and helps them to consider migration across the generations and the shared experiences.

5. Building brighter futures
Learners think about how young refugees might feel when they arrive somewhere new, and how they could help refugees feel welcome in their communities.

6. Reflecting on the theme
Learners reflect on what they have learned and how their original ideas might have shifted. 

7. Simple Acts
Learners consider which of the simple acts they could carry out to continue their learning and show support for refugees. 

This resource was written by Rob Bowden and Rosie Wilson of Lifeworlds Learning and published in May 2019.

Image © Richard Grange/UNP/British Red Cross.

The film ‘Dreams’ was created by young people from Iraq, Sudan and Eritrea as part of the British Red Cross’ Surviving to Thriving project. Participants explained how they had to put their ambitions on hold in order to reach safety in the UK, but they always remember their dreams and are constantly trying to achieve them. The young people felt strongly that they are not defined by their experiences or identity of being young refugees or asylum seekers, and they want to look forward to happy and successful lives.  They want to be settled and safe so they can achieve their dreams in future.